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1 - Your current OTP
2 - A pairing you initially didn’t consider but someone changed your mind
3 - A pairing you have never liked and probably never will
4 - A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t
5 - Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what
6 - What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom
7 - Do you remember your first OTP, if so who was in it
8 - Do you prefer characters from real action series or anime series
9 - Has the internet caused you to stop liking any fandoms, if so, which and why
10 - Name a fandom you didn’t care/think about until you saw it all over tumblr your social network sites
11 - How do you feel about the other people in your current fandom
12 - Your favorite fanartist/author gives you one request, what do you ask for
13 - Your favorite fanart or fanartist
14 - Your favorite fanfiction or fanauthor
15 - Choose a song at random, which OTP does it remind you of
16 - Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas)
17 - A ship you’ve abandoned and why
18 - A pairing you ship that you don’t think anyone else ships
19 - Show us an example of your personal headcanon
20 - Do you remember what your first fanwork was?
21 - Self-rec: What's your favorite fanwork you've created?
22 - Are you one of those fans who can’t watch anything without shipping
23 - 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms
24 - 3 OTPs from 3 different fandoms
25 - A fandom you’re in but have no ships from
26 - Ask me a different fannish question

#109 - 112

Saturday, 1 September 2012 20:32
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My Name Is Red, by Orhan Pamuk.

Fantastic. If you've read this, COME TALK TO ME ABOUT IT. )

The Burden, by Mary Westmacott.

I was looking forward to reading a non-mystery novel by Agatha Christie but this wasn’t enjoyable at all; I actually enjoy her take on romance and love a lot most days but she really needs a good plot to hang this on? She tried to structure it in three acts here but that didn’t really work either. I quite enjoyed the uncle figure who also provided good Toryish comic relief but that was about it, everyone else was so wet.

Democratically Speaking, by Chee Soon Juan.

Mixed )

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie.

I’m not sure if this is because I read a blurb on Wikipedia years ago but for one of the very first times I can say I TOTALLY CALLED THIS. Not opportunity, but totally motive! That never happens! :D

… I don’t remember much about this, but it’s apparently one of Christie’s best and I can def. see why. Worth a read.
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Just finished watching all the Borgen episodes there are in existence. I frequently talk about being so bad at watching TV; I wander off and do other things on the Internet or lose the will to hunt down episodes all too easily. The flipside of that is that when a show grabs my attention, it really grabs my attention - I was up till 4 AM last night watching the brilliant finale and finally got what my good friend Max meant when he said the last five minutes of the season 2 finale was amazing. (Spoiler: it was.)

Borgen is also brilliant at anticipating all my narrative needs; frequently I'd come to the end of an episode and think, "That was great but what they really need to do is focus on Birgitte's personal life," or "Great political strategy but what about the stuff that actually makes a difference to people's lives?" or "What about more gender stuff?" and in the very next episode they'd deliver, it's kind of freaky and also great. This show juggles a lot of balls - in one episode alone they tackle about three to four heavy-duty issues in a smart and coherent storyline - and they never let a single one go for too often. It's ambitious and clever storytelling at its best; I can't help comparing it with Political Animals and feeling that in every respect Borgen comes out on top.

I... am also not entirely sure how many times in a row I can say "Call me, Birgitte", but there are not enough times in the world. Her clothes! Her smarts! Her everything! I have way too many torrid fantasies about either being a) an intern in the PM's office (somehow magically speaking Danish, of course) or b) Birgitte's au pair (again somehow magically speaking Danish). All of a sudden I have this incredible lust for office wear, impeccable makeup, and a ponytail. I haven't done ponytails since leaving high school; such is Birgitte Nyborg's power. BIRGITTE, CALL ME.

One thing I didn't like: (spoilers) )

(no subject)

Monday, 27 August 2012 08:02
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so right this is the 1996 tv adaptation i watched when i was eight
and like [personal profile] oliphaunts says, it is my One True Adaptation
guys i adore Dicky Cheung so much
more of the same, yup. )

(no subject)

Thursday, 23 August 2012 23:24
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you know you want to - i have been prompting all the 'politics i get angry about thinly disguised as fic' stories my little heart desires. come play! and please, for the love of god, fill some of my prompts.
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I've just finished the first five episodes of Borgen: it is such a good show. It's basically everything I care about - gender, indigenous people, quotas, and ruminations on the nature of democracy - and some things I didn't, but now do - politicking, power struggles, and corporate boards. I know zero about Danish politics but Borgen has it right on with the most odious Labour Party leader I've seen in a long time (Tony Blair anyone?). SO GREAT, YOU GUYS, IT'S SO GREAT. Also, full of terrifyingly competent people - I think the person I identify with the most is by default the hapless secretary (who isn't that hapless and has good instincts; just gets intimidated by the people she's surrounded by)???

Birgitte come to me.

Also, I read a book!

Rubyfruit Jungle, by Rita Mae Brown.

Kind of forgettable. )
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I was tempted to create a Guardian account just to comment on this piece of shit article. Because, obviously, there's only ONE WAY to be gay and we have to stick to that ONE WAY because... culture! practice! solidarity! who the fuck knows. I'm all behind protesting and going to Pride, but 'having a diva' is SO essential to maintaining the white male face of LGBTQ culture, you guys. Sure, the article has some interesting ideas - he seems to be edging into a debate about separatism vs. assimilation here - but he seems to think that the best way to maintain a unique culture is by hearkening back to the worst bits of gay (and I do mean gay rather than LGBTQ) culture with all its white male privilege. Gross. Read this post instead. Resistance and self-critique 4eva.

Black Hearts in Battersea, by Joan Aiken.

very short review but some spoilers )

The Amazing Maurice & His Educated Rodents, by Terry Pratchett.

Objectively great, I just didn't get into it? idk. )

Dido and Pa, by Joan Aiken.

Eh, this was all right. I don't know how I felt about Simon's random proposal to Dido at the end of the book - how old is she even there? Is was introduced here and she wasn't as cool as she becomes in Is and Cold Shoulder Road, either. I do like Penny's redemption here, though, and Aiken has a gift for describing beauty - and music.
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I know I've already posted like 295 times today but I've been feeling chatty recently; today I want to talk about Torchwood lots of chatter and some spoilers for the first two seasons )
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This is me reviewing all the books I've read recently that aren't Winter's Bone.

(Seriously - if I haven't brought to bear enough in the last review post I made: Winter's Bone is so good. It's good in a way that makes me want to watch the film for a fifth time, and makes me want to reread it and understand more and read up on Ozarkian tradition, and more in that universe - what happens to Sonny and Harold? Relatedly, if you've watched the film but not read the novel, read THIS FIC, which draws on backstory in the novel but is a fic for the film; anyway it's great. Then come talk Winter's Bone with me, omggg.)

Step-Ball-Change, by Jeanne Ray.

So Jeanne Ray is totally predictable and I love it. Kind middle-aged lady who has one big driving passion (baking, journalism, dance, flowers)? Check! Beleagured husband in public service? Check! Self-absorbed younger daughter? Check! There are usually a couple of sons hanging around here, too. And then SOMETHING HAPPENS, and everyone gets through it with humour and grace, and people learn a couple of things about themselves and their family, and people grow closer together. This is kind of the novel version of The Cosby Show. Not that I've ever watched The Cosby Show, so I probably don't know what I'm talking about. /o\

light spoilers )

The Body in the Library, by Agatha Christie.

Reading this made me kind of sad because in my head Miss Marple is my favourite detective ever, but I don't think I enjoy the novels she's in that much, if that makes sense? Anyway, this was pretty underwhelming even if it was really clever (I totally should have caught the Big Clue in the middle, argh); maybe because the setting (a hotel) just didn't do it for me and neither did the characters, perhaps Agatha Christie was still trying to get a grip on the kind of Middle England As Narrated By Miss Marple she was trying to depict here (this was only her second Marple novel, after all), or maybe because spoilers start here, I guess )

The Mysterious Mr Quin, by Agatha Christie

I'd read and loved the Harley Quin stories in Problem at Pollensa Bay but this collection as a whole didn't shine for me? I think it takes remarkable skill to sustain a universe in which the supernatural is an expected and reliable element (as it must be, in detective fiction) because the whole point of the supernatural is to be unpredictable. So... kudos to Agatha Christie, I guess. This format, especially when repeated throughout the entire collection, just isn't an inherently successful one, I don't think.

the ending is kind of amazing though )

Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman.

DUDES I CONFESS. Totally missed the Neil Gaiman bandwagon! Never read anything by Gaiman besides Good Omens and Stardust, picked this up, totally loved it - I've been told American Gods is even better, which makes me writhe in glee and anticipation. For some reason, after reading Good Omens, I'd come under the impression that Pratchett was responsible for the funny parts and Neil Gaiman was responsible for the myth-y bits, and came away from Anansi Boys totally surprised at how funny this was. WHY DOES NO ONE EVER TELL ME ANYTHING?

seriously )

So THAT IS THAT. I am now reading Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red, though very slowly and warily (scarred forever by The White Castle tbh) and liking it a lot so far. When we next meet up, [livejournal.com profile] forochel is lending me Lord of the Rings! THAT'S RIGHT I AIN'T EVER READ IT BEFORE. [livejournal.com profile] extemporally: forever a handful of decades behind the pop culture curve.
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I feel pretty awful - nothing major, actually, just all clammy and sweaty, and I ate too much at my mum's birthday dinner so it's 2 AM and I can't get to sleep. While I'm up I might as well try to finish the research project I've been putting off forever, but does anyone want to chat to me while I do? We can talk about life or Political Animals, except not the latest episode! Or books, that would rule. Lurkers welcome, if there are any. ♥
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Winter's Bone, by Daniel Woodrell.

Really glad this is number one hundred. I've been wondering how I should review this novel - Winter's Bone the film was absolutely one of my favourite films I've watched this year, if not ever, not that you can't tell it from the incredibly protracted discussions I had about it, um. So I knew I was going to enjoy the novel too, but I wasn't sure how I was going to talk about it on its own terms.

A long-ass book review in which I go into THEME and CHARACTER. Spoiler: I loved it )

(no subject)

Saturday, 11 August 2012 14:08
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Quick rec!

I have loved [livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon since it started in 2005; and today I checked back and found this gem of a fic. Star - Great Expectations, by [livejournal.com profile] a_t_rain. It's a story about Estella finding out the truth of her parentage, or more accurately searching, and one that gives her far more agency than Dickens' endings (original or revised) do. Sharp, witty, and satisfyingly plot-driven - if you love Dickens, run, don't walk. ♥!
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Calling Invisible Women, by Jeanne Ray.

AWESOME - middle-aged Clover Hobart wakes up one day and finds that she's become invisible. not a long review but cut because some spoilers - not huge explicit spoilers, but spoilers nevertheless. whoops! )

The Magicians of Caprona, by Diana Wynne Jones.

I liked this a lot but it wasn't my favourite Chrestomanci book; I guess a lot of that is down to my personal hangups about how I associate DWJ with a particular kind of Englishness and so the Italian setting here kind of knocked me off-course, which is weird, because I didn't think that DWJ failed at writing Caprona or anything like that. In fact, it was pretty great!!! I was a fan of all the Petrocchi-Montana partnerships, esp. ahhh spoiler cut ) and the singing especially was great. I... just don't have a whole lot to say about this novel, is all. /o\

Witch Week, by Diana Wynne Jones.

Someone (I forget who) told me that Witch Week is one of their favourite Chrestomanci novels and OH MAN I TOTALLY SEE WHY. Like, this was such a weird perspective because in all the Chrestomanci novels magic is front and centre in a way it was (but wasn't!!!) here; I mean in the sense of this world being completely similar to Real Life so that when magic or witchcraft showed up it was this huge threatening thing.

It hurts to be burnt. )

Is, by Joan Aiken.

I always tend to think that Joan Aiken is much less famous than she actually is, with the result that whenever I read one of her novels I always end up beating at my chest and rending my clothing and doing some seriously weird things with sackcloth and ashes and being like WHY ISN'T SHE MORE FAMOUS THOUGH??? Throwbacks of being of the Harry Potter generation: writing YA suddenly seems so much more lucrative and glamorous than it actually is.

This review is all about Charles Dickens and also is way too long. )

Cold Shoulder Road, by Joan Aiken.

Not as brilliant as Is, but I think I make it pretty clear in my last review that that's a pretty high standard. I'm all talked out now but I enjoyed this! I didn't think the Dickens mojo was as strong in here, if only because it was pretty different in terms of theme and character - Dickens can do a lot of things, but he never really paid any attention to 'somewhat dysfunctional and mismatched families trying to work it out while saving the world' without reducing it to caricature, so.

Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters.

ANOTHER DICKENS HOMAGE and no I'm not even kidding, GUYS this is so obviously the lesbian version of Great Expectations and this sentence goes on for a while. )
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The Fairy Godmother, by Mercedes Lackey.

A SHORT BUT DAMNING REVIEW: under a cut because I know some of you are Mercedes Lackey fans. )

Let The Circle Be Unbroken, by Mildred D. Taylor.

Fucking fantastic - actually, no, there were a lot of different plot strands all over the place, but who cares because they were just all amazing. spoilers )

Then I proceeded to reread The Ladies of Grace Adieu but I'm not counting that; except to say that it's even more amazing than I remember and also Susanna Clarke is probably the standard by which I measure all fantasy* ever (unless it's Diana Wynne Jones). Mr Strange & Doctor Norrell shoutout!!!

* what I really want more and more is fantasy that acknowledges its cultural roots in some way, hence I think why I love Mr Strange & Doctor Norrell for refusing to elide THE KYRIARCHY while not making it the main point (though that is also great! she does that quite subtly in The Ladies of Grace Adieu, I think) of her narrative. Also I would like fantasy about ~~the frontier~~, basically like Cathy Park Hong except in prose (tho even that's optional) and with added magic.

Dealing With Dragons, by Patricia Wrede.

I tried to be kind with this because it was probably written a bit younger than I was expecting, but it turns out that I have, against all expectation, quite recently become the kind of reader who has Strong Opinions about fantasy universes, so all through this I was like yelling NO BUT DRAGONS DON'T EAT COOKED MEALS!!! (dragons may be kind but biology, obviously they still have to eat raw meat) and WIZARDS AREN'T EVIL!!! (maybe so individually but.... not as a class) and stuff.

Also I really appreciate the message that princesses are boring and girls don't necessarily have to be princesses, because like... really, I am all behind that, but also it was so unsubtle I just got bored with it. See also: me reading books meant for 8 y.o.s and being a jerk, etc etc.

Julie & Romeo, by Jeanne Ray.

Jeanne Ray basically writes the same protagonist over and over again, doesn't she? She's lucky that her characters (and her writing) are just so goddamn likeable. I loved Eat Cake and I really enjoyed this - basically Julie & Romeo are proprietors of two feuding family flower firms (say that three times, real quick) and meet in late middle age and fall in love, against the wishes of their family. So yeah, this was pretty great in that it was all about older people having a meet-cute and actual sexuality and ~~engaging in narratives of empowerment~~, and also career fulfillment. Such a breath of fresh air, and also has that vaguely kind, drily comic narrative voice that is so - watch my huge arsenal of vocabulary here, ladies and gents - likeable. Awesome! ♥

I also read Calling Invisible Women and the remaining Chrestomanci novels but I'll review them later yis

(no subject)

Wednesday, 8 August 2012 11:36
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s'up, s'up:

Pick any passage of 500 words or less from any fanfic I’ve written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what’s going on in the character’s heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

Fic here! ♥


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